A-Level Chemistry


Chemistry is necessarily an experimental science: its conclusions are drawn from data, and its principles supported by evidence from facts.

-Michael Faraday

Chemistry will continue to be at the forefront of responding to the needs of society; with chemists central to making advances in designing new materials, efficient energy use, drug development, and technology, to name but a few. A Level Chemistry will cover the fundamentals of Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. You will need to learn facts and build a body of knowledge but also to understand and apply the ideas. Many topics include calculations and so you should feel comfortable rearranging equations and using numbers. Importantly, chemistry is a hands-on science and you will carry out experiments on a regular basis. (cife.org.uk)

Key Information

  • Qualification: A- Level

  • Exam Board: AQA

Entry Requirements

  • English 5+

  • Maths 6+

  • Double Science 7+|7+

Useful Links

Paper 1: Relevant Practical Skills (Physical Chemistry Topics)

  • Atomic structure

  • Amount of substance

  • Bonding

  • Energetics

  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc

  • Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

  • Thermodynamics

  • Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems

  • Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells

  • Acids and bases

  • Inorganic chemistry topics

  • Periodicity

  • Group 2, the alkaline earth metals

  • Group 7(17), the halogens

  • Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides

  • Transition metals

  • Reactions of ions in aqueous solution

  • Written exam: 2 hours

  • 105 marks

  • 35% of A-level

  • 105 marks of short and long answer questions

Paper 2:Relevant Practical Skills (Physical Chemistry Topics)

  • Amount of substance

  • Bonding

  • Energetics

  • Kinetics

  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc

  • Rate equations

  • Organic chemistry topics

  • Alkanes

  • Halogenoalkanes

  • Alkenes

  • Alcohols

  • Organic analysis

  • Optical isomerism

  • Aldehydes and ketones

  • Carboxylic acids and derivatives

  • Aromatic chemistry

  • Amines

  • Polymers Amino acids, proteins and DNA Organic synthesis

  • Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy

  • Chromatography

  • Written exam: 2 hours

  • 105 marks

  • 35% of A-level

  • 105 marks of short and long answer questions

Paper 3: Any content and Practical Skills (Culmination of Paper 1 and Paper 2)

  • Written exam: 2 hours

  • 90 marks

  • 30% of A-level

  • 40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis

  • 20 marks of questions testing across the specification

  • 30 marks of multiple choice questions


Chemistry A level is a highly respected A level, with its broad variety of tested skills, and it is a good choice for many degrees and careers. Chemistry has been described as the ‘central science’ and is often combined with either physics or biology. It is a compulsory choice for anyone wishing to pursue medicine, dentistry and veterinary science, as well as chemistry-based degrees, such as pharmacy, pharmacology, and biochemistry. Popular careers using chemistry include;

  • Chemistry Teacher.

  • Forensic Scientist.

  • Geochemist.

  • Hazardous Waste Chemist.

  • Materials Scientist.

  • Pharmacologist.

  • Toxicologist.

  • Water Chemist.

What goes well with Chemistry?

  • Physics

  • Biology

  • Maths